May 14, 2024
Case studies

Pioneering the Future of Data and Analytics in SAP Cloud: Vaisala's Strategic Shift with Scandic Fusion

Luīze Sila

Marketing & Communications Manager

Raivis Blaumanis

Member of the Leadership team, Data Analytics Architect

Elīna Jakubaņeca

Data Analytics Consultant, Project Manager

In an era where data is the beating heart of any modern organization and the foundation of innovation and operational efficiency, Vaisala – a global leader in measurement instruments and intelligence for climate action, headquartered in Finland – embarked on a transformative journey to rebuild its data and analytics ecosystem.

This strategic initiative was implemented in partnership with Scandic Fusion, aiming to leverage the capabilities of the combination of SAP cloud-based tools: SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and SAP Datasphere. This collaboration marked a significant leap towards harnessing the power of cloud technology to foster data-driven decision-making across the organization.

The Genesis of Transformation

With climate action and technology leadership at Vaisala’s core, it is focusing on the safety of individuals and the protection of property, as well as the efficiency of operations utilizing reliable measurements and decision support systems in all climate and weather conditions. The company equips its customers with devices and data to improve resource efficiency and drive energy transition. Vaisala's influence spans across critical sectors such as meteorology, aviation, roads, renewable energy, industrial instruments, liquid measurements and life sciences. Vaisala’s breakthrough technological solutions can be found globally from various industries all the way to Mars. At the heart of Vaisala’s purpose taking every measure for the planet is a commitment to first-class data that enables climate action.

The partnership between Vaisala and Scandic Fusion began in 2014, evolving from creating a tailored Oracle Data Warehouse and BI solution to enabling a cloud-first strategy initiated by Vaisala's CIO in 2015. This strategic pivot was not just a technological upgrade but also a foundational shift aligning with Vaisala's vision for a data-empowered future. The data analytics part of the journey begun in 2019 when Scandic Fusion facilitated the implementation of SAC Planning for demand projections across Vaisala's extensive product range and global sales regions, establishing a foundation for the broader adoption of SAP's cloud data analytics technologies. Following the success of the initial SAC planning project, two more applications for management reporting, covering P&L, BS, CF and operational KPIs, and extended full scale P&L planning at legal entities, profit center, cost centers and GL account level by month were jointly created and are used to date.

Choosing SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP Datasphere: A Strategic Decision

After the success of the first SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) projects, Vaisala decided to move forward with all-SAP technology stack for data analytics. The implementation of SAC and SAP Datasphere focused on establishing a robust data and analytics BI solution that offers comprehensive source data integration, advanced physical and semantic data modeling, lineage, real-time operational reporting capabilities, and visually appealing dashboards – all within a cloud-first architecture.

Overall, Vaisala wanted to enhance the awareness of its data within the organization. This undertaking required more flexibility in data modeling, report building and on-demand scalability. The end goal was not only to understand the data that are available, but also how to use it for business-relevant models and analytics.

The cornerstone was the program to replace existing Oracle EBS ERP with SAP S/4HANA ERP. Since the backbone of BI is the data coming from ERP, this created the perfect opportunity for a greenfield implementation of a new data and analytics solution.

  • SAP Datasphere was selected for its status as the most modern and advanced cloud-based data warehousing solution within the SAP ecosystem.
  • SAC was already proving its worth in operational demand planning and financial management at Vaisala, making it a natural choice for expanding its role in the organization's data strategy.

Motivated by its overall digital transformation, Vaisala chose SAC and SAP Datasphere not only for their technological prowess but also for their synergistic compatibility with Vaisala’s new ERP system, S/4HANA.

In close cooperation with Vaisala’s team, Scandic Fusion implemented a new central Data and Analytics solution for Vaisala with SAP cloud-based tools by

  • Designing a new Data Warehouse on top of SAP S/4HANA as the key source in SAP Datasphere;
  • Creating the most critical BI Dashboards (x50) in SAP Analytics Cloud for Finance, Sales, Services, Projects, Operations, Purchasing, Inventory management and other functional areas.

Evolving BI Needs and the Art of Dashboard Design

As Vaisala's BI needs evolved, the emphasis on consistent dashboard design became ever more important. The transition to SAC fostered a more dynamic, self-service approach to BI, requiring a unified design framework across all dashboards. This evolution was instrumental in enhancing the user experience, facilitating better data discovery, and enabling more informed decision-making throughout the organization.

To achieve consistent end-user experience across all SAC BI content, we created Dashboard design best practices based on three foundational pillars:

  1. Sample Dashboards: these sample dashboards provide a template for what good design looks like, encapsulating BI functionality and best practices across various types of pages:
    • Welcome page.
    • Interactive page.
    • Simple page.
    • Help page.
  2. Consistency Guidelines: Serving as an online SAC rule book, these guidelines offer detailed design recommendations, pro-tips, and examples that ensure consistency in colors, text, visual formatting, layout, and interactions across all dashboards.
  3. SAC Templates: Pre-configured templates that lay the groundwork for creation of SAC stories by providing placeholders, pre-saved color palettes, fonts, and styling rules, as well as a library of objects such as headers and icons.

By creating Dashboard design best practices, Vaisala has fostered a culture of data literacy across the organization and lifted self-service to another level. The unified style across all dashboards improves usability and makes the end-user feel at home.

Realizing the Benefits of SAP cloud-based solutions

While the project saw its go-live relatively recently, at the beginning of January 2024, there are already clear benefits that Vaisala has recognized:

  • Unified Analytics and Planning: SAC enables Vaisala to analyze and plan using the same platform, fostering a cohesive strategy for data-driven decision-making.
  • Consistent end-user experience: Improved end-user experience in SAC BI, resulting in a shift towards dashboarding and self-service.
  • Real-time analytics: Create operational reports in SAC BI with run-time transformations in SAP Datasphere combining multiple S/4HANA modules and analyze changes in ERP data in mere seconds.
  • Innovative tech: The cloud-based solution ensures that Vaisala always has access to the latest features and updates. In combination with the fact that SAP Datasphere is a relatively new product, it also means being ready to experiment, prototype, and learn throughout the implementation.
  • Increased development speed and Vaisala ownership: The project has empowered Vaisala's team with greater understanding and control over data modeling and dashboard creation processes, enhancing their ability to respond to business needs proactively.
  • Data Transparency and Efficiency: The new ecosystem provides clear visibility into data sources and transformations, with SQL views and built-in transformation lineage in SAP Datasphere. Clear and thorough naming standards for all data objects and layers is an absolute must.
  • Data tiering: The SAP HANA Data Lake offers a scalable, cost-effective solution for managing legacy data, ensuring it's available when needed without incurring unnecessary costs.

Overcoming Challenges

The journey was not without its challenges, notably the concurrent overhaul of Vaisala's ERP system and the pioneering nature of the technology involved. The common Vaisala and Scandic Fusion project team navigated these hurdles by maintaining a flexible, iterative approach to development, ensuring that the solutions delivered were not only technologically advanced but also aligned with Vaisala's operational realities, as well as working together with SAP teams to ensure the project-critical technical issue resolution.

To sum up

The partnership between Scandic Fusion and Vaisala in building a new generation data and analytics ecosystem on the SAP cloud is a testament to the power of strategic collaboration and technological innovation. This project has not only set a new benchmark for data analytics in SAP cloud, but also underscored the transformative potential of data in driving operational excellence and strategic insight. As this journey continues, the foundation laid by this collaboration and data-driven insights will undoubtedly continue to drive Vaisala towards its mission of "Taking every measure for the planet".

Thank you for reading, and since you got till the end… stay tuned for the technical, architecture-focused blog post about Vaisala’s SAP Datasphere and SAC implementation

Company facts


Vaisala is a global leader in measurement instruments and intelligence for climate action.
Tech Stack:
SAP Datasphere, SAP Analytics Cloud
Operating in:
17 countries with customers in more than 150 countries

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